cyberbullying, stop cyberbullying, workplace bullying

Beware of a New Trend in Cyberbullying: Roasting

Most adults are familiar with the entertainment version of the word “roasting.” Roasts are traditionally intended as lighthearted dinners where various guests take turns “roasting” a guest of honor with good-natured jokes at that person’s expense. The key here is the phrase “good-natured.” As we’ve all witnessed, it can get awkward and downright uncomfortable. A roast that turns from lighthearted to vicious is becoming all too common. Guess who’s catching onto it? Your teenagers. Too Young to Roast It all started with the hashtag #roastme. Teenagers would post a picture or video on a social media channel (i.e., Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, or a group text) of themselves with that hashtag. Like a traditional “roast,” they gave people consent to make funny comments about what they posted. However, like most things exposed online, the opportunity to post malicious, hurtful comments have gone unchecked and spiraled out of control. This is such a dangerous trend that teenagers are often too young to understand the unimaginable repercussions. Teenagers are also more likely to follow others, feeling justified in participating and escalating the negative, hurtful remarks to make themselves look “cooler.” It happens so fast there is no time to distinguish the...

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